HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – Harvard wrestling closed out the 2019 calendar year in historic fashion, with three players placing on the second day of the Ken Kraft Midlands Championships at the Sears Centre Arena.
It was the first time over a decade the Crimson saw three wrestlers place at the elite, midwest tournament. In 2006, Harvard had four wrestlers finish in the top eight.
First-year Yaraslau Slavikouski advanced all the way to the third-place match with three straight victories on Monday. Two quick one-point decisions to begin the day, set up the first-year from Belarus against a pair of top-15 opponents. In the consolation semifinals, Slavikouski took down No. 15 Carter Isley from Northern Iowa to earn the right to battle No. 5 Trent Hillger of Wisconsin for third place. However, Hillger took the bout with a tough, 3-0 decision to claim third, while Slavikouski took fourth.
At 165 pounds, first-year No. 19 Philip Conigliaro advanced to the consolation semifinals with a pair of decisions over Northern Iowa's Austin Yant (8-6) and Northern Illinois' Izzaak Olejnik (7-4). Going head-to-head with the No. 3 wrestler in the nation, Wisconsin's Evan Wick, Conigliaro began the consolation semifinals with back-to-back takedowns to take a 4-1 lead. But Wick responded with an escape towards the end of the first period to swing momentum to his side and went on to take the match by a 7-4 decision.
The Dedham, Massachusetts native still had an opportunity to secure fifth place with a win over Bucknell's Zach Hartman, who entered the tournament ranked No. 15 in Intermat rankings. Conigliaro sealed fifth place with a 7-3 decision.
Senior Nolan Hellickson rounded out the three Crimson wrestlers finishing in the top-eight, placing eighth at 125. An 8-1 decision over No. 17 Jacob Schwarm of Northern Iowa secured Hellickson's his spot in the top-eight.
Harvard returns to the mats on Saturday, January 4 with the David H. Lehman Franklin & Marshall Open. Fans can watch at FloWrestling.org.
Consolation Round of 8 – Nolan Hellickson (Harvard) over No. 17 Jacob Schwarm (Northern Iowa), Dec. 8-1
Consolation Round of 4 – No. 9 Drew Hildebrandt (Central Michigan) over Nolan Hellickson (Harvard), Maj. Dec. 11-2
7th Place – Chris Cannon (Northewestern) over Nolan Hellickson (Harvard), Maj. Dec. 12-2
Consolation Round of 8 – Philip Conigliaro (Harvard) over Austin Yant (Northern Iowa), Dec. 8-6
Consolation Round of 4 – Philip Conigliaro (Harvard) over Izzak Olejnick (Northern Illinois), Dec. 7-4
Consolation Semifinals – No. 3 Ethan Wick (Wisconsin) over Philip Conigliaro (Harvard), Dec. 7-4
5th Place – Philip Conigliaro (Harvard) over No. 15 Zach Hartman (Bucknell), Dec. 7-3
Consolation Round of 8 – Yaraslau Slavikouski (Harvard) over Aaron Costello (Iowa), Dec. 2-1
Consolation Round of 4 – Yaraslau Slavikouski (Harvard) over Bobby Heald (Army), Dec. 3-2
Consolation Semifinals – Yaraslau Slavikouski (Harvard) over No. 15 Carter Isley (Northern Iowa), Dec. 7-3
3rd Place – No. 5 Trent Hillger (Wisconsin) over Yaraslau Slavikouski (Harvard), Dec. 3-0